East Africa Aid Foundation

Our mission is to provide an opportunity, a helping hand, for those who have little-to-none to live by and learn with. We are a not-for-profit organization founded to assist with the collection of charitable donations from interested parties, multinational corporations, and healthcare organizations to fund educational & healthcare projects in multiple locations in the East Africa region.
Feb 26, 2015

UKUN Volunteer Diary (Week 27)

The past two weeks here in Bagamoyo we continued our home-based care program with Mathilde; our Danish committed volunteer. I got sick first time with Malaria and was not able to work for four days. We got new referral of a family with a small sick child who we started to give our full support. Some of our patients were very sick and unfortunately we lost two lives L

 Updates on our patients:

Patient RMD:

Patient RMD has been our patient for over a month now. He is severely malnourished with military TB and newly diagnosed HIV infection. He has been suffering from pain to his hip and legs too. We finally managed to get X-ray done to his hips at Bagamoyo Hospital but this showed nothing and doctors think these pains are due to his TB. Doctors prescribed Diclofenac (pain relief) injections for few days, which I administered at his home. His mobility improved slightly after these and he is able to walk longer distances again. He is not eligible for ARVs due to his low Hb (haemoglobin). We have been supporting him with extra nutrition; porridge and peanut butter sandwiches but he does not seem to put on any weight. His brother says he often vomits after food. I gave him some anti-sickness tablets to take before meals. He is due to go back to hospital next week to have his Hb re-checked and see if he would finally be eligible for ARV treatment for HIV.

Patient SD:

Patient SD was a young man who had been suffering from distended abdomen and right swollen leg. Last week he lost his life due to liver cirrhosis. He had had a poor adherence to his HIV treatment in the past year. He had abdominal ultrasound scan that showed fluid in abdomen and enlarged spleen and liver cirrhosis. We took him for more investigation to private hospital in Dar Es Salaam where he had liver function test and hepatitis test done as they are not available here in Bagamoyo. Hepatitis test came back negative but his liver appeared very bad. We took him back to his doctors at Bagamoyo Hospital and they decided to admit him for more investigations. They prescribed diuretics to get rid of the fluids in his abdomen but this medicine was not available. We managed to get hold of it the next day and Mathilde went to take it to the hospital but only to find out that Saidi had been discharged home. He had been given a referral form to go to Muhimbili Hospital in Dar Es Salaam. He was in a lot of discomfort with his abdomen and was not able to eat for days. The next day I took him to Muhimbili and he was admitted to medical ward to have more investigations. Few days later I visited him and he had not been given any medicines or had any scans done. I purchased the diuretics (that the doctors finally prescribed) from outside pharmacy as they were not available at the hospital. He needed a lot of them (Spirinolactone) and they were not cheap. Saidi’s mother had moved to stay in Dar Es Salaam so that she could visit his son daily. I kept calling Saidi daily and he reported that he had only been given two tablets of ‘something’ every morning even the dose should have been six tablets due to the severity of his liver cirrhosis. Few days later I visited again and he was in coma. He had been like that for 24 hours. I spoke to the doctors and they told me he had had a scan that showed his liver had shrunk to a tiny size and was at the end state. He had a drip of saline and nasogastric tube for feeding. He was not alert anymore. His mother looked very worried and sad. Two days later he died early hours in the morning. Saidi was young man with a one year old child. His rapid decline in health came not only to us as a surprise but to himself too. This was a very sad strategy.

 

Patient SAL:

Our fairly new client SAL also lost her life at the same morning as SD. She had been diagnosed to have HIV only a month ago. She was suffering from severe malnutrition, urine infection and malaria. We were treating her at home with fluids and nutrition and at times it appeared that she was getting better. On her last visit to Bagamoyo Hospital doctors wanted to send her home with only multivitamins but I told them it was not enough and she was not getting any better. She was severely dehydrated, malnourished and had fevers. She then had blood and urine test done at the hospital and she was found still to have malaria. Salima was admitted to medical ward and given malaria medication and fluids via drip. Next day she was finding difficulties to breath but hospital could not give oxygen because there was no electric in Bagamoyo for two days and the oxygen machine had to be plucked in. The hospital did not have portable oxygen with a cylinder. This was so frustrating and I was trying to sit her up for a better breathing. Staff just stood there waiting for electric to come. We could wait for weeks, no generator at the hospital! Electric did not come back and she died early hours next morning. This was extremely sad. She left four young children behind who are now orphans. She was only in her early thirties. I attended Salima’s funeral and her mother approached me there. She wanted all Salima’s children to be tested quickly for HIV so that they could be treated if any of them were found positive. The family does not want another strategy like Salima. We arranged this with Charles and he promised to test them next Wednesday afternoon at their home.

 

Patient ZNB:

Zainabu our elderly HIV positive lady had got sick with a cough and was now treated with strong (and expensive) antibiotic for chest infection. Her third TB sample also came back negative. After a week I visited her but she was not home and either was her daughter Hadija (also HIV positive). Her neighbours reported that Zainabu was already feeling much better and had gone to work with Hadija. I told them to send my regards and to call me if she gets any problems. We did not hear from them last week.

 

Patient ZN:

ZN is HIV positive frail young lady with three young children. Her son Dotto of 8 years is also HIV positive. ZN has had compliance issues with HIV medications for years and is known to be big challenge for all people who have tried to help. Now she had been sick with PCP (pneumonia) and she has recovered well. She has put on over 7kg and is eating well! She had another hospital appointment where she went with Charles and Mathilde but she still was not given ARVs and they sent her home with more Septrin (antibiotic for PCP). She also reported having vaginal discharge and I sent her to the hospital to see a doctor. She was prescribed antibiotics for this.

The family is stigmatised and have no income so we keep supporting them with nutrition like porridge, beans and rice. It has also come to my knowledge that there are other issues with the children. I am looking for a nursery now that can take the four year old daughter and a school nearby for Dotto. ZN appears to have no control over her children; they do what they like and do not respect their mother. Dotto has not been taking his ARVs again. Their grandmother who they live with also takes no responsibility of their health.

 

New patient: Patient M and EV

Charles received a referral for a family of three. All of them; mother M, her husband and their daughter EV of 3 years are HIV positive. Evelyn was also diagnosed with TB last year and is still on treatment. She had not been taking the TB treatment for two weeks so there are compliance issues with the parents as they are responsible for Evelyn. Charles and Mathilde did a home visit and EV’s weight was found to be only 7,5kg. Mathilde took some nutrition for her; porridge, peanut butter and milk. Mother M was at home and she appeared well and in healthy weight. Her husband was at work. Few days later we visited again and this time Martha complained that she had had a cough for couple of days. Mathilde took her to the hospital next day and Martha gave sputum sample for TB. She was prescribed ChrystaPen injections to reduce coughing (that contain Penicillin), antibiotics and cough syrup. The injections were to be administered at the clinic near to her home. Her TB results should be ready by Monday. We will do frequent home visits to support EV with nutrition and make sure she finishes her TB treatment properly.

 

Patient CPT:

Mr. CPT is our long term patient who depends on us due to his poor mobility and stigma from his family. He has not been able to walk for years. He has a wheelchair and can now independently transfer from bed to chair as his arm muscles have grown. We keep doing exercises to his legs on our visits (twice per week) but they are weak still. Mathilde showered him and did his laundry last week by herself when I was suffering from Malaria, which was a great effort J We keep bringing him 6 litres of clean drinking water once per week and extra nutrition twice per week. His family are still the same; not willing to help at all and often lets him go hungry. Those visits we make are his lifeline and he would not get out of his room or to have a wash without us. If there were nursing homes in Tanzania I would pay him to be taken care of by some lovely people who would spoil him every day. He deserves better.

 

Patient ABD our orphan boy who started school a month ago came to visit us in the weekend. He was very happy to see all his friends. He stayed at our office for the weekend and Monday he will go back to school after picking up his ARV medications from Bagamoyo Hospital. He complained that they were still not teaching him English but he was hopeful that they would start soon.

Mathilde said her goodbyes to us last Sunday. It was great to have her here again. For the next few weeks there will be no volunteers until March sometime. Luckily I received a lovely gift from ex- volunteer Kirstine; a bicycle! This has been a great help for home visits to patients; much less time spent on travelling and more time with patients- super!

 

Feb 12, 2015

UKUN Volunteer Diary (Week 26)

The new year started with a busy schedule for home care. We had some sick patients and some new referrals. The Danish volunteers continued their hard work and organized a testing for school children. It was also goodbyes to Lina, Nicole and Kathrine. They continued their trip to Zanzibar! Patient ABD finally started school and has settled in fine.

HIV Testing and screening:

Our Danish volunteers Lina, Nicole and Kathrine organized testing for BACCA pre-school children at our office.

One three year old girl Sara was found HIV positive. Charles together with the girls went for a follow up meeting and counselling with Sara’s mother Augusta. Augusta told them that the child had been diagnosed since December 2012 but she was too afraid to enrol her to CTC (HIV clinic at the hospital) due to stigma at home. She also reports that her older daughter Suzy of 11 years is not positive. Charles will make another follow up meeting and help to enrol them to CTC ‘in a secret.’ Otherwise the child appears in good health.

 

Patient ABD:

Patient ABD finally started GOIG School on the 7th January! He got a room that was shared with another student until his room will get cleaned for him. We visited him with Chanzi and Mathilde two weeks after starting school and Abdallah seemed happy but little home sick. He had been learning to make rugs and had already finished two of them. We were so proud of him and he taught us all how to make them. His room was still not ready and they were not teaching him English yet but things happen ‘eventually’ here in Tanzania. Patience is a key skill. He is very keen to learn English. Unfortunately the school could only promise to keep him until end of March (3 months) because they did not get funding from Finland this year. They might have enough funds to keep him for the full year but they could not guarantee that. In that case he has to continue next year, their new financial year. Patient ABD appears in good health. We managed to get all his meals and pocket money sponsored from donors from Finland. Next month he will come to visit us in Bagamoyo and attend to his hospital appointment to get more medicines.

 

 Patient RMD:

Patient RMD, our fairly new patient was discharged from the hospital. Earlier he had been diagnosed with Miliary TB and Malaria. He is only 41kg and appears about 180cm tall! He also has painful hips. We visited him at home couple of times; he has slightly low blood pressure 90/70 and he spikes temperatures. We gave Paracetamol, which he takes regularly. He is eating now three meals a day and mobilising around the house for short distances. We brought him a walker/zimmer frame to help with mobilising. We accompanied him to his hospital appointment last Monday the 20th to the TB ward. His family is always a great support and couple of the family members came too. We requested an X-ray to his hips but there were no doctors available and we were told to come back the following Monday. He received more TB medications. We also have been supporting with peanut butter sandwiches to bring his weight up. He is recovering well and is in good spirits.

 

Patient ZNB:

Patient ZNB, our elderly HIV positive lady was treated for stomach ulcers and had physiotherapy last month. She had fully recovered. Now we received information from her daughter that she was sick again. I went for a home visit and discovered a bed sore to her upper buttock. I cleaned and dressed it with some medicine dressing and taught her daughter Hadija how to redress it. She did not complain with other problems. I advised good diet and pressure relief for a fast recovery. Few days later I went back with Mathilde and redressed the wound that had almost fully healed. She complained a bad chest and a cough. We took her to the hospital and she gave sputum sample for TB. Next morning I collected the second sample and took it to the hospital lab. We collected results after few days and they were negative. We brought her back to Bagamoyo Hospital to have a chest X-ray, which showed infection. Doctors also wanted another TB sample as the previous ones had been ‘saliva’ like and they were still suspecting this would be TB. We collected the proper one and handed it in to the lab. Patient ZNB was prescribed strong antibiotics for 7 days and was sent home. One of the doctors wanted to admit her to the hospital for proper investigation but she did not fit the criteria. She was too ‘well’ (able to eat and drink). Next week we will collect the 3rd sample result and visit her at home.

 

Patient SD

Patient SD our new patient who had been sick with diarrhoea and swollen right leg and scrotum was discharged home from Bgamoyo Hospital. He had spent over a week there. We visited him at home with Mathilde and his diarrhoea had resolved. They had told him to come back the week after 21st Jan for surgery to his right scrotum (hernia). His physiological observations were stable but his abdomen appeared much distended. I did abdominal examination and could not find anything from that. He had no pain either. His right leg was swollen and he reported to have had that problem for five years now. He had used intravenous drugs in the past and he reports that this is how had got infected with HIV. Now he had been ‘clean’ for 9 years already. We will go with him next week to the hospital and try to get further investigations done. Saidi is full of hope of getting better as he is young (34yrs) has a one year old daughter too.

 

Patient Z and her children:

Patient Z is our frail little HIV positive lady who has three children and the eldest is unfortunately HIV positive too. She has had compliance issues for years with taking her medication and had got herself into a very bad state. She has now been on treatment for PCP (Pneumonia common with HIV patients) but still has no ARVs for HIV. She finally had her CD4 checked last week and it was 97. The CD4 machine had not been working for a couple of weeks at the hospital that possibly had terrible outcomes for several patients. Without CD4 results patients are not given treatment for HIV.

We have been visiting patient Z and her children regularly at home and we bring food as they have no income. We had a long discussion with the doctors about her adherence and I agreed to be her treatment supporter as her mother kept refusing to help. Z’s mother who lives with her does not want to do it and even refuses to come to the hospital with her. Charles went to see her at home and Zena’s mother finally agreed to come to counselling session with her to the hospital and this was successful.   They will need another session. Hopefully after that she can start ARV treatment. When asked, she was not very keen to start the treatment and we cannot understand why she is like that as she has three children to look after. Her son Dotto was given his ARV treatment for a week but we discovered that he had not been taking it. Mathilde had a good talk with the family with more body language than words J but perhaps they have understood now the importance of him taking them. This family is a big challenge for us but we have big hope for them for the sake of the three young children.

 

New patient: SAL

Last week whilst at the hospital with Ramadhani, I received a new referral from CTC. This 37 year old beautiful lady called Salima was very frail and ill looking. She had already seen a doctor but was not given any medicine. Her weight was only 40kg and height 160cm. She had no temperature now but reported to have temperature every night for several days. Salima was only diagnosed with HIV few weeks ago and now had to wait for CD4 results and counselling. Adam who works at the CTC asked doctors to see her again and they agreed. This time she was sent to the labs for malaria test and urine test. The doctor also gave her two weeks supply of Plump Nut Bars to gain weight rapidly. She has four children and none of them been tested for HIV. She appears to have a nice family for support.

We visited her at home the next day with Mathilde and Helmi (visitor from Finland) to check how she was doing and she had been diagnosed with Malaria and UTI (urine infection). She had not collected her Malaria medications because hospital did not have them and she did not have enough money to purchase them outside. We went to collect these (cost £1.50), brought ORS, water, peanut butter sandwich and Paracetamol. Her blood pressure was low 80/70 and we encouraged to drink plenty of fluids. She stated that she only eats twice a day and mainly porridge. I asked if it was OK to test her children for HIV and she said ‘we can talk about it’. Two days later I visited her again and her temperature was 41 degrees but her blood pressure had come up to 110/80. She was due to go to the hospital for her CD4 results and she went with her mum. Mathilde and Charles met them at the hospital. After hospital Charles and Mathilde went to Salima’s home to test her children. Only one child was home and she cried a lot for the needle. The result was unknown and she needs to be tested again unfortunately. We will make regular visits to her until she recovers. Next week she will have another hospital appointment. This family will need a lot of support and we hope she will fully recover.

New patient: SWU

SWU, 34 year old single lady came to our office complaining breathlessness and weakness to her limbs.  She was diagnosed with HIV a year ago (Jan 2013). She has no partner or children and unfortunately she had lost a child 1996 when she was only 17 years old. She lives alone close to our office.

She appeared very lethargic. Together with our Danish volunteers we measured her physiological observations were within normal range but she got very breathless on exertion. Her weight was 51kg and she was slightly underweight. Luckily there was a doctor at the office and he listened to her chest and said it was clear. He advised we take her to the hospital for a chest X-ray and assessment. We did this straight away and she got antibiotics for chest infection. She also takes Septrin and Vitamin B. Her CD4 is still high so she does not need ARVs. Her Hb was only 8.3 and she received advice for iron rich diet. Now after two weeks she has recovered well. We did couple of home visits and took some peanut butter sandwiches to give her nutritional support. She is very grateful for our support and says that now she knows we are here very close to her home if she needs any help.

 

Lina, Nicole and Kathrine took us; me, Mathilde and Charles, for a lovely meal to say goodbyes. They had worked very hard for the past 4 weeks and had been great asset to our team. They also together with Mathilde organized a fundraising project of selling locally made colourful bags for friends and family in Denmark. They also donated mosquito nets and lots of medical supplies to us. Mr Captain got a new pillow and a mosquito net and was super happy. I hope all the best for the future for these girls and our door will be always open to them.

Next week we will have a lot of hospital appointments with our patients. Mathilde and I will have to stretch all our arms and legs to reach to all the work that lies ahead. Bring on the challenge!!

 

Jan 12, 2015

Student Profile (Student NS)

Student NS with her grandmother (guardian)
Student NS with her grandmother (guardian)

Name of child: Student NS

Age: 16 years old

Place of Residency: Nabutiti village, Kabosi parish-Bukuya sub/county

Mother: Abandoned after the death of her father when she was just 2 years and he has never been seen again.               

Father: Deceased

Guardian: Guardian NT (Paternal grandmother aged 65)

School status: Attending school (St Thereza Kkungu S.S.S)

Class: Secondary class form II

Home environment: Poor household and grandmother sells local blew from which she struggles to raise her fees.

Lives in a two room mud house with inadequate aeration for good health.

They stay eight in the two room house and 3 of the children are orphans while the 4 are her own children.

 Major Problems at home: Leaves on a small piece of land with limited space for cultivating food and thus causing food shortage for the family. Sylvia’s grandmother hires land in a distant area where she grows food to feed her seven member family. Sometimes she is forced to sell of a small amount of the harvest to raise some money to buy school items like uniform and books for Sylvia.

Progress:With the supporting funds collected from project Youth Spark we have been able to enroll Sylvia back again into school and purchase some of the basic school supplies for her to continue her education.

Student NS at home with family
Student NS at home with family
Student NS in school uniform
Student NS in school uniform
Student NS at school
Student NS at school
Student NS at school entrance
Student NS at school entrance
Student NS in class
Student NS in class

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